Your life is filled with “good intentions”. You wake up in the morning with the a to do list a mile long that you intend to complete today. While holding your newborn daughter, dreams of a bright and glorious future flood your mind and warm your heart. On the first day of your new job, you have every intent of turning your job into a illustrious career for years to come. Standing at the alter on your wedding day, while gazing into the eyes of the love of your life, you believe that this love will last “until death do you part”.
Life is full of “good intentions”. Unfortunately, too many times we fail to give birth to “good intentions” and they remain nothing more than unfulfilled dreams. I’ve known the feeling that miscarried “good intentions” give. Like an apple orchard that fails to produce fruit to harvest, when “good intentions” fail to develop, we live with a void in our heart sabotaged by our pattern of accidently living life.
Your life cannot be lived by accident. Good intentions are only accomplished on purpose. It’s time for a mental shift from “good intentions” to living an “intentional” life on purpose. If you decide that it’s time to become debt free, you will never achieve this “good intention” without making some adjustments to your finances.
This shift from “good intentions” to living an “intentional” life will require at least three changes in your behavior.
Living intentional means you will have to narrow your focus. We tend to spread ourselves too thin. Rather than becoming experts of a few things, we’ve become novices at many. Dedicate a certain amount of time everyday to growing in the area in which you want to become more intentional. Educate yourself so that your focus on what you want to be intentional about will be strengthened. For example, if you to “intentionally” become physically healthy, then hire a fitness trainer or join a workout group. Your investment into your physical fitness will focus you to become intentional in achieving your dream.
Sharpening your focus will not be enough to shift your mind toward the intentional. You will need to formulate a specific plan with which you can now begin to live in the intentional. Your formula should be detailed. Answer for yourself, “How will I intentionally fulfill my dream today?” You should write your formula down. I once heard that, “Thoughts disentangle themselves passing over the lips and through pencil tips.” Writing down your formulated plan will allow you to think clearly about your dreams and allow them to progress toward reality.
Own up to the reality from the beginning that you will have failures. Often times it is in these moments of failure that we give up on our dreams. This is not a moment to surrender; rather, this is the time to forgive yourself and move forward again. The inability to forgive will keep you prisoner from achieving you life’s dreams. Own up to the fact that you will not complete everything on your todo list today. Knowing that up front will require you to formulate your list in order of priority so that you complete what is necessary today. Realizing that you will not be a perfect parent will help you forgive yourself when you make mistakes. Forgiving yourself is a key component to living an intentional life. Once you’ve forgiven yourself, realign yourself on your formula and move forward.
This is not an all-inclusive list for living an intentional life. What do you do to intentionally live so that you achieve your dreams? I’d love to hear from you. Leave your thoughts as a comment and let’s keep the conversation going.